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Gary Marshall

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  1. Star slightly further out but still within range, up M1/A1 and right on A170 probably easiest. If you head that way you should do the Star and their sister The Pheasant, both have rooms (pheasant is a hotel) can walk between the two, both use similar ingredients in completely different ways, star is rustic (and similar to P&G as james from the P&G was star head chef) head chef at pheasant is ex-star and hibiscus which is quite an unusal combination. tasting menu is one to go for at pheasant, and i saw they're doing the GBM menu at the star now, a week after we'd been and had chefs table there, i'm sad enough to have ordered it if it was available then - next birthday perhaps! also in the area is the 2x michelin 1* espoir black swan at oldstead, rooms there too, i think the food is overly fussy but michelin are on the verge of starring it by the looks of it, the star's loss of 'star' unwarranted imho. so there you go- lunch/dinner in harome, then oldstead for lunch, leeds on way home.
  2. David, The Pipe and Glass (1*)for lunch, (not far from M62 direction hull) and then back on the M62 to Leeds for dinner. about an hour apart from each other and more hotels in leeds than you can shake a stick at. The P&G has hosted his father's birthday so i guess it gets the seal of approval from the martins!
  3. Robin hermanos has been too and liked it, quite a rarity of late.
  4. I'm amused by the various 'Gill's review is out of context' responses as his meal/opinion in many ways was similar to ours, so not buying it was an outlier, and PSS have changed the menu and dish compositions markedly since the opening weeks, so there must have been something wrong there? Also if you dined at PSS on 18/19th April and paid using a card on an old school streamline paper slip you may well have been charged twice, we have. They are aware and arranging refunds but you may need to check with your card company.
  5. twitter *ablaze* with rumours as to whether jason atherton's name is being taken down from the front of pollen street (hardens) or was never there before (his PR). quiet news day.
  6. AA Gill had a bit of a dig on sunday i see.
  7. Caught up with this weeks last night, i thought it was probably the best week so far with both andre and paul showing off some impressive cooking i hope their reservation books are showing a commensurate increase!
  8. Have a res but now can't make it but will try it soon i expect.
  9. can't help but notice it doesn't look very busy? plenty more reviews to come out though i expect which will change that. i had a cracking lunch at moro yesterday, never been before and it was very enjoyable.
  10. is that the peanut and chilli one? that's quite a favourite of mine in the york branch, but there's definitely variation branch to branch. it may have been on the lunch specials, if they are those dishes come asap - the dumplings are often on.
  11. The fake set ups wash over me now and can fast forward through the more asinine parts, some good dishes in this weeks episode especially from paul ainsworth and andre garrett, i know i like pauls food, so expect i shall have to give windows a whirl, the more he says 'it's my classical background' the more i fancy a visit!
  12. Oh yes there is is richard, unlike most people on tv james martin is very tall, this i noticed at the roux scholarship do recently ! Now move on...
  13. I see on twitter atherton is changing a few dishes already with the sharing plates becoming taster sized and other tweaks.
  14. ..this is were I get worried. Your reviews are usually spot on Gary, and I think you give a very balanced view and can certainly see through the hype. thanks, sometimes feel it must look like i/we're the cynical g*ts in the corner looking for faults, but believe me we go open minded and are looking for places for the rotation not just the thrill of the new! I agree with you RDB - Gary's write-ups always give a good impression of what's what, I always look forward to them!! Walked passed PSC on Saturday (inbetween sushi at Shiori & fusion at Providores) - looked a good space, meant to take a photo of the menu on the door. Was surprised to see the main courses at 30 quid. cheers piers, i think they lost us initially at the £30 mains and the wine list prices and it was a long walk back from there.
  15. ..this is were I get worried. Your reviews are usually spot on Gary, and I think you give a very balanced view and can certainly see through the hype. thanks, sometimes feel it must look like i/we're the cynical g*ts in the corner looking for faults, but believe me we go open minded and are looking for places for the rotation not just the thrill of the new!
  16. So to the much awaited pollen street social last night, second night of opening following a week of soft/private events by the looks of things. It’s a good looking space, quite a sizable bar and then into the restaurant with a semi open glazed kitchen area and desert bar at the front. From my banquette had a good view of the room and the multitude of waiting staff, this doesn’t look like a project where much has been skimped. Although thankfully they didn’t explain their concept from what we’d read of tapas and have what you want type ordering we set with the menu, we were told initially that we couldn’t have tapas in the restaurant it was bar only, but that was quickly rescinded so we dived straight in with some diversions whilst we worked out what to order ‘proper’. First up were some salt and pepper red squid, which were good and salty, chiperones which I liked but others felt the batter a bit too clunky and some clams a la plancha which were ok, better with the nuggets of chorizo in the bottom, though to me cooking them so the sauce effectively evaporates negates the point of shellfish. Good bread and butter were offered and frequently refilled, as was tap water. A glass of sherry helped these down. To the menu proper the main courses at best part of £30 didn’t vastly appeal nor did the steaks at up to £72 for a kilo, not when we were a short crawl from Goodman Mayfair! So we decided to make a tasting menu from the ‘small plates’ and dig in, ordered in waves of three which raised no eyebrows from the helpful waiter. Orkney scallops, mackerel tartare, grapefruit and miso tar was ok, but gone in a mouthful dish, ok but unremarkable. Smoked foie gras, black sesame , smoked golden raisins was more successful really well prepared foie, rolled in pain d’epice, good dish. Escabeche of quail wouldn’t have been an obvious choice but it was recommended by the waiter, and it was the most interesting dish we had, very quique dacosta in style with an earth style crumb and well cooked quail though oddly a split breast and only 1 leg, who got the leg? Or did we get an extra half a breast?! We’ll never know! But certainly more the style of dish I was hoping for from Mr A. Middle wave was kicked off with ‘full English breakfast’ remembering a Great british menu dish of its ilk but unfortunately was the real dud of the night, various breakfasty elements but awash with cooked tomatoes that overpowered it and the egg. Cauliflower and squid , clear roasted squid juice sounded adventurous and just didn’t quite live up to its peer a similar dish at the Ledbury of squid risotto where the squid is formed into rice shapes, the roasted juice a bit underpowered. Roasted red mullet with olive consommé white and green garlic again read far more interestingly than it ate. Final round was 24 hr braised Suffolk pork belly & cheek, ok, the tongue and cheek , well the cheek was good the tongue not immediately obvious, salt baked carrots good. Best dish was the onglet really nicely seared and charred. Good piece of meat. Deserts we took at the table not the bar, sorbets and ice creams in a dry ice bowl for rob, as per usual, I had the PBJ parfait, cherry jam creamed rice puffs – though sadly beaten in the pbj wars by spuntino’s version, and a rhubarb and ginger, vanilla cheesecake which was a bit underwhelming. Wine list gave a bit of a shock, though we knew in our heart there were unlikely to be any obvious bargains but La Rioja Alta 905 1997 at £110 certainly gave us something to think about so we retreated to the lower end of the list but still ended up at c.£35 a bottle, for unremarkable Spanish white and red. Coffee was pretty good So all in all some flashes of excellence and some generic just opened glitches, most dishes underseasoned and lukewarm especially the meats but not really pushing the bar in terms of inventiveness or deliciousness as far as I could see. Mathew Fort was in loudly declaring it ‘inclusive rather than exclusive’ but again, when you don’t have to pay for it you can think that a £10 starter is a bargain, you’d need to spend £30 -£40 to build anything vaguely identifiable as a meal from the a la carte so I don’t see that’s really breaking any new ground in value! Sure it will be a success and I hope it will be for JA but for me and my usual coterie of diners we felt there was not enough on the plate alone to be over excited about, as an all round dining experience for a date or impress a client, I’m sure it will fit the bill it’s buzzy, well designed & staff are good. If I were into scoring I’d say it’s a 6/10 . Mr Fort rates it 19/20 for the record.
  17. everyone will be in , looking at twitter, marina is in seoul so i doubt she'll have made it yet! what looked like foodie pr giving william sitwell the hard sell last night, he looked about as convinced as us though...
  18. went last night and although by no means not a bad restaurant, it didn't rock our collective world, unlike mathew fort who was very effusive to a nearby table and seems to think that fine dining at £10.50 a small plate is in someway a game changer, who knew? i prefered my own metric, it's about £3 a bite! will try to do more later, best dish was a perfect onglet but London's not short of decent steak at the moment. we had a selection of starters and nine of the plates, plus 3 deserts so gave it a fair whirl. waiter rec of quail also v good, decided against the cote du boeuf at £72 a kilo! there's obviously ambition but atelier robuchon did the whole small plate fine dining schtick nearly ten years ago in paris and in london for a fair few years, suspect they're still the benchmark. Was really hoping for some bells and whistles from JA but nothing we saw there that's not been seen before, the ledbury does the squid/rice riff far better (and brett was in last night too) wine list is very expensive. nice looking place, staff good. not convinced at moment though.
  19. sounds like its worth a wander, thanks matt.
  20. Thanks, going Tuesday and somehow seem to have accumulated 5 reservations now!
  21. So to chabrot last night, the well reviewed, recently opened French bistro in knightsbridge. Given the gist appeared to be value traditional French bistro cooking from owners with excellent provenance I was quite looking forward to this as that pretty much ticks my boxes, no small plates, no ‘let me explain our concept in dining’ just some decent ingredients, good sensibly served by knowledgeable staff, washed down with non gougy wine. How hard can it be? Well on the basis of last nights showing, it seems I have higher expectations than many. On time for our early 7pm table we were barely greeted by the staff who were clustered around the reservation book and show to a table in the window, given menus and ordered water, I think we’d barely looked at the menu before we were asked if we were ready to order, a theme that ran through the entire meal. Menu reads nicely, hot and cold starters, charcuterie, seafood, grills and plates for 2, many liberally greased with foie, lovely. We eventually decided on 2 starters to share, hot foie gras with comte pop –over – read cheesy Yorkshire pudding and chiperones – deep fried baby squids. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we ordered I went straight to the gents and by the time I came back – and bear in mind this is a tiny restaurant, the starters were on the table. The squid was competently fried and seasoned, but was not all baby squid, a goodly chunk of it was diced squid tube. The foie starter was disappointing, rubbery balls of liver with a very lightly cheesy pudding, nothing like say the gougeres at champion sauvage or hibiscus of old. Plates were whipped away as the last forkful went in, ok maybe a slight exaggeration, but as soon as thy were cleared, our, ahem intermediate foie and cepe stuffed cabbage made its appearance. This was brought in a dinky pot and carefully split at the table with some skill by the waiter. Unfortunately it was very similar to the starter, only one piece of recognisable foie was discernable in the mix and it lacked seasoning, a bit of salt resuscitated it but it was only ever clinging on, not quite the classic stuffed cabbage I was expecting. You may guess, and you’d be correct that as soon as that left the table, we were re-set for the veal chop for two we’d ordered as a main which arrived speedily and was accompanied with some decent spring veg and a side of (very good) frites. Once again the veal was plated at the table as it had come from the kitchen sliced in another crockery pot, I paid the price for a moments inattention during the carving as I ended up with the scrag ends and mate rob, the lovely prime slices, being a decent fellow unbidden he did the decent thing and swapped some slices! Veal was good, I assume from their local butcher O’Sheas and the veg good, but griddling a bit of veal and cooking veg in a butter emulsion isn’t a massive task. Although not desperately unhappy to be finished early, it felt a rushed and for no obvious benefit, surprisingly for a restaurant reviewed in 3 top titles at least , it wasn’t busy and there seemed to be no demand for our table back, deserts looked uninspiring and given the rush we weren’t predisposed to spending any more, we had a couple of large espressos that were unfortunately devoid of crema which about summed the meal up, about 60% of the way there. On the wine front we had a very drinkable tollot beaut Bourgogne blanc 07 at £35 and a lovely 2007 arlaud gevrey chambertin at £55, though this showed on the bill at £65, after a minor kefuffle with the menu it was proved that I was right and the bill changed. Given setting up a till is the devils own work I think it’s a genuine oversight. Prices didn’t seem that cheap, our starters at the cheaper end at c. £8.50, the stuffed cabbage £19 and the veal £48. they do run what looks like a very good value prix fixe, if I worked nearby I’d probably give it another go once it has settled in further but can’t see me making another journey especially to try. Given the area I think we both felt a meal at bar boulud would have given more bang for similar bucks.
  22. Spur of the moment decision to try Barbecoa last night, despite reviews that were all pretty negative until matthew norman’s in the telegraph the other week, it remained solidly booked with even TV’s own Jay Rayner complaining on twitter he couldn’t get a reservation (under a non de plume), luckily (?) given I rise very early, a prime 8.30 pm dining slot is nearer my bed time than apero time so it was easy enough to get a table for two on the day at errr, 6.15! Resto looked quite small when I wandered in but wraps around to give the view of st pauls and very thing is very low level to maximise the light and view I suppose, the open kitchen showcased some very esoteric burning equipment from giant cast iron ranges, to charcoal grills and tandoors. As I was awaiting my companion I was fending off the usual still or sparkling, olives etc requests and also stayed away from the gougy wine list with a pint of lager at £5 I think, I may be doing a disservice, it may have been £4. Despite my resolute stance feedback from twitter suggested the bread was not to be missed so we actually ended up with nibbles of bread, pork scratchings, and chicken liver pate, these are all £4 each, bread was excellent, a pizza type flat bread, sour dough, black –treacle I assume,and good salted Cornish butter. Pork scratching were nice and crispy and porky and the 4 quenelles of liver pate were accompanied with good strips of crispy bread – though not entirely sure why we ordered it, they’d be more than sufficient for a starter I felt. Starters proper were pork ribs and crispy pig cheek, the ribs the better dish though I expected a bit more heat, the cheeks fine but a bit one dimensional, I was happy to be sharing. Mains of pulled pork shoulder with a relish and a welsh beef rib were both excellent, the shoulder my favourite, not sure what the garnish was but a good acidic edge to 'cut the fat' also cornbread carried it well, the beef ribs were very unctuous and I was just a bit too full by this point to do it justice. So with 3 pints of lager and tap water the bill hit £88, possible to do it a lot cheaper the pulled pork was £16 and the star but if you head to the steaks you’re looking at double that and with wine…. So rather surprisingly given the press, it actually surpassed expectations which doesn’t often happen, matthew norman’s recent review suggested with judicious ordering a good meal could be had, and I’d agree.
  23. caught up over the weekend, andrew wins, my bias aside his menu looked the most coherent and to the brief though had forgotten just how irritating oliver peyton's judging is. a very good point made my mrs m, big fuss about anonymous judging yet there's a giant picture of andrew behind the judges sat behind desert on a tea stand, as he used! sure they could have put two and two together!
  24. leeds yorkshire might be the ideal place to open a restaurant for him but a casino that's almost out of town that gets no passing trade? don't hear much about vineet bhatia who's also in there? iirc the bird? supposed to be good. sorry david, it's just fluff, there's more than enough going on in Leeds, this will barely register post the inital flurry of PR. martin's linked with virtually every pub that comes on the market in north yorkshire, that would be more his natural home but can't see it happening, he's obviously making good money on the tv so good luck to him.
  25. was going to go early doors last night and chance a walk in, but ended up going for drinks instead and had dinner at polpo. will hopefully make it next week , but marina's 5* review will need time to work through the system!
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